Does Soil Type Matter?

Does Soil Type Matter?

The importance of soil testing

Houses are generally pretty similar to build once you get out of the ground. It’s what happens getting out of the ground that can be quite costly when building.

Something that can really have an impact on your new home build over its lifetime, and is an early part of every new building project, is the identification of the type of soil on the property.

This can also affect the final price of your home.

We speak to Stroud Homes Coffs Harbour builder Yarren Henwood about different soil types, and especially how they relate to building homes in the Coffs Harbour area.

newly built house


Yarren tells us Stroud Homes Coffs Harbour can build on any type soil, but some types will result in a more complicated, and therefore more expensive, build.

Generally, there are six different soil classifications, starting off at Class A and finishing with E – which is extremely reactive, and not really heard of on the Coffs Harbour coast.

So what do the letters mean?

CLASS A Acceptable Mostly sand and rock with little or no
ground movement from moisture changes
CLASS S Satisfactory Slightly reactive clay sites with only
slight ground movement from moisture changes
CLASS M Moderate Moderately reactive clay or silt sites,
which can experience moderate ground
movement from moisture changes
CLASS H1 &H2 Highly reactive Highly reactive clay sites, which can experience
high ground movement from moisture changes.
CLASS E Extreme Extremely reactive sites, which can experience
extreme ground movement from moisture changes.

Find out more about soil types on the Residential Reports: CSIRO Foundation Maintenance & Footing Performance: A Homeowner’s Guide

hand holding soil

Soil testing

To determine which type your soil is you have to have a soil test conducted. Conducting a soil test is one of the first parts of the preliminary agreement. It’s the main thing that can affect the contract and the pricing of the house.

In basic terms, the engineer determines your soil’s reaction (movement) to both wet and dry conditions. Your home’s slab type will then be designed, based on these results.

At Stroud Homes Coffs Harbour, Yarren says they prefer to look after the soil test if they can, so they can be confident in the quality of the test and who’s doing it.

When you get a soil test done, it really becomes a decision for the engineer whether they want to accept it to do their slab design.

“At Stroud Homes Coffs Harbour we offer a free site evaluation, and with having a lot of experience, we can generally have a fair guess of what the soil type is going to be and we can allow that in our initial quote.”

massive machinery preparing the site

The Stroud Advantage

The team at Stroud Homes Coffs Harbour can organise a site inspection prior to your purchase, give you advice on the area, and arrange soil testing to be carried out.

Once the classification report is received it will be used to plan building site preparation and provide site-specific information to assist in appropriate foundation design.

Aerial view of site

Call Yarren and the team today on 02 5606 2676 if you  need any help at your site in the Coffs Harbour area.

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